IIT-JEE is the most coveted engineering entrance exam in the country. Every year, lakhs of students write the exam across the country. The number of seats available in IITs is 10,500. The exam is highly competitive, and candidates prepare for years together to make it through. Many experts have noticed that while the students appearing for the examination are in lakhs, they are competing for a few thousand seats. The candidates who don’t make it through the first time drop out for a year and try again. This has led to most folks criticising the system and its selection process.
Over the years, the concerned authorities are noticing that, due to the stringent selection process and high cut-offs, many seats are lying vacant in most IITs. They feel that this is a waste of institutional resources, and these resources should be utilised in an efficient manner. The B. Tech program at the IITs is considered to be the best the country has to offer.
One of the IIT directors was quoted saying that there have been many cases in the past wherein the student who has scored a low rank in JEE ended up scoring very well in the examinations in the course. He attributed this phenomenon to the intense teaching methods at IIT.
Another director said that, instead of lowering the cut-offs, the quality of education should be improved at primary and high school levels. He believed that quality education at this level is essential to score the required marks in the entrance exams.
Many fear that lowering the cut-offs in the examination could hamper the quality of engineers graduating from the premier institute. In 2015, IIT-Roorkee expelled 11 students due to bad grades and 72 students for maintaining a weak academic record. However, these students were later readmitted into their respective courses.
The entrance exam is divided into two segments – JEE Mains and JEE Advanced. In 2015, 147,678 students appeared for JEE Mains but only 36,566 candidates cleared JEE Mains and qualified to JEE Advanced. If this new rule comes into effect from 2017, students who appear for JEE Advance need to score only 75 marks out of 372 marks in order to get a seat in one of the IITs. Physically challenged students need to score 38 marks out of 372.